Mark Sanford held a magnificent press conference today. You might have heard that he’s been crying in Argentina with his mistress about having to go home to his wife who kicked him to the curb weeks ago.
Some people are saying that Sanford did a great job today because he was honest. Others are talking about how it’s a great tragedy — Rush Limbaugh even said that Sanford “could have been our J.F.K.” Democrats are talking about not making political hay out of the situation, while furiously trying to find any kind of misappropriation of taxpayer dollars to turn his adultery into some kind of a crime. The only thing I’ve heard out of Obama today is that he is going to see the Pope (nice timing, sensei).
Well, I say screw it, let’s make some hay. An instance of immense hypocrisy only comes along once every couple of days in American political life, why waste this moment?
Can we not use the struggles of seemingly every man who wants the Republican nomination in 2012 as a powerful lesson about the sanctity of marriage? Because I am really, really sick of people thumping the Bible when gays want to get married, and then thumping a little bit on the side.
I’ll admit that I’m a Christmas and Easter Catholic, so my new testament knowledge is not what it should be. But I’m almost positive Jesus really doesn’t like hypocrites. I think he said that they were “bad.”
But the larger point is that maybe the Bible doesn’t have all the magic spells one needs in order to have a successful marriage? If the Bible doesn’t always work for those that believe in its teachings, isn’t it conceivable that the Bible might not be the absolute authority on who is “allowed” to get married? What horror can a gay person visit upon the institution of marriage that God fearing heterosexuals haven’t already explored?
Adultery is not a republican/democratic thing, it’s not a liberal/conservative thing, and it’s certainly not a christian/atheist thing. Clearly, there are lots of people who are capable of taking the sacrament of marriage and flushing it down the toilet. If God wanted everybody to respect marriage, He would have provided us with stronger pants by now.
So why can’t gays and lesbians get in on the act? Surely some of them will respect marriage better than your average American politician.
And why couldn’t Mark Sanford lead the charge for gay marriage in South Carolina. I heard him apologize, I heard him say that he “needed to get his heart right.” But you know what I didn’t hear? I didn’t hear him say “I’ve been living as a hypocrite for months. Through this experience, I’ve learned that I am the last person to be lecturing people about how they prosecute their sex lives. I apologize to all the gays and lesbians that I have indirectly demonized just because they loved someone I thought they shouldn’t. Henceforth, I’ll never try to legislate morality again.”
That would have been praise worthy.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Elie Mystal has a great column on the True/Slant website that raises some legitimate questions about the sanctity of marriage, the Bible, and sanctimonious politicians. here it is in its entirety: